The Internet Foundation - Richard Collins
Draft - The Internet and Society
The Internet should help assure the survival of the human species. When we invented language, symbol manipulation, external human memory, tools, we were partially assuring an environment to safeguard our genetic future. But things are changing rapidly now, and humans could become unnecessary. I think that is not a good thing, so I am trying to find a balance. But it means a different way of thinking about our relation to the world around us, and to each other. Our species is capable of much more. Certainly we have a million times more technologies than we need. So what happens if it is all simplified? Do people become superflous? What do all those people do? The purpose of the Internet should be to help and serve, not exploit or impoverish.
The original Internet Foundation, supported by half the fee for domain names, was cancelled about the time I wanted to start an "Internet Foundation" 20 years ago this July. So I inherited the domain name because it wasn't any use any more. A Foundation to resolve conflicts and set goals. I had spent my career on global problems, and was looking for something to occupy the rest of my life, so I took it as a personal responsiblity to at least monitor and take note. 20 years has been time enough for a quick overview.
The Internet can be used for communication, commerce, memory, sharing, and education. I reviewed many sites, organizations, technologies, and schemes. I spidered, mined, counted, analyzed, hypothesized, experimented and tested. I tried to examine motives and purposes. I researched thousands of topics in depth to find specific answers and solutions, tracking the processes and tools required. Over time many things fell aside as nonessential - 'make money', 'gain fame', 'chat', 'play', 'do lessons', 'sell things', 'research', 'broadcast'. Actually many wonderful and endearingly human things. But,the survival of the human species trumps them all. There is a billion times more than any one person can use in a lifetime. But there is much duplication, enormous waste, pitiful and unnecessary delays and confusion. Tower of Babel. A burden, not a helpmate, to many. Inaccessible to many more. Exploited too often. Too complex and costly to maintain. Many descriptions come to mind.
I still get excited about new technologies and proposals. But most are 'nice to have', not essential. The structure and functioning of the Internet can be simplified to make it an extension of humanity. Making money is easy. Building new things and technologies is easy. Finding things is easy. Getting millions or billions of people excited for one reason or another is easy. Assuring the future and prosperity of the species is not.
The Internet is disorganized. Some of that is a byproduct of growth, much of it is simple greed and laziness. If you become an expert in finding things it can be a wonderful tool, an extension of your mind and life. But navigation through randomly assigned links, through biased search results, through biased tools, distorts and delays every experience.
The search engines are coopted by what I call "the one second syndrome". They feel they must give you the largest number of "answers" in the shortest possible time. This is fine if you are asking for "What time is it in Paris?" "1347.63 feet in meters". But try to ask a question that takes hours or days or months or decades to answer, and it simply forgets who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, what you have already learned. Search engines have no memory. In fact, most websites or browsers or apps have no memory, except where it benefits or profits them.
Try to solve a problem that involves buying anything, and you are guaranteed to face scams, false leads, distorted and false claims. Even from seemingly neutral parties. Try to solve a problem that cuts across the artificial domains that have encrusted the Internet landscape, and you face duplication, errors, lies, vast arrays of incomplete and incompatible fragmentary "answers".
Is the Internet all bad? I think it is mostly driven by poor tools and motives. Organizations feel they must publicize and promote themselves on this "new" medium. People reach out. Many wonderful things happen. Much good happens, but at a tremendous waste of human time. It seems that every organization is counting 'one second" clicks and not looking for ways to help the people and groups who use their sites. The Internet has no purpose and no sense of responsibility to society. So by default, it takes the basest motives in it methods and tools. Each node serves only itself. Or each set of nodes owned by an entity only serves that entity.
Many try to build 'collaborative' platforms. Most are captured by investors, clicks and conversions. Human editors cannot optimize the efficiency of a collection that is built by accretion. Social networking devolves into selling click statistics and personal information. The organizations that build the site do not monitor how much time they waste for users. They mostly do not seem to care if the users/members are productive, as long as they click and pay. Nodes collect information for their own purposes, not to help the users with their own lives.
This is a draft. Later I will come back and say, "That is too harsh.", "I don't want to hurt their feelings.", "I said that because of my personal experience. There are exceptions". This is really hard. I want to summarize two decades of what I hoped would be a neutral look at the Internet's purpose and processes. To offer some advice and guidance to groups who want to try to make it more responsive to human needs. In my first years I often repeated the phrase, "We can sell things, we can publicize ourselves, we can talk to each other, what is the deeper purpose of the Internet?"
Even the largest and most sophisticated sites today still use "click, show a new page, remember the least you can to do the job, if that is wrong let the user click something else, maybe they will figure it out or call the help line." It is a crude and wasteful paradigm. It assumes people have an infinite amount of time and memory to learn every unique twist and turn and non obvious navigation convention of every site on the web. And this alone is wasting [billions of hours of human time every day (a billion people each wasting an hour a day?) -> billions of hours every week more likely. 10^9 hours at $10 per hour opportunity cost * 52 weeks a year is $520 billion a year. What about the call center time, phone support and user calls? Missed deadlines, missed opportunities? ] $ ___ billion a year from poor software and methods.
Topics, Terms, Dimensions, Objects, Processes, Entities, Lists
The Universe, Earth, Sun, Moon, Atmosphere, Oceans, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Biome, Human Populations, Economics, Social Processes, Human Groups, Organizations, Topics, Terms, PlaceNames, Events, TimePeriods, Agriculture, Industry, Services, Incomes, Transportation, Energy, Communications, Computers, Countries, Cities, Places, Geographic Features, Human Constructions, Animals, Plants, DNA-based Lifeforms, Lifeforms,
Experience, Exposure, Instructions, Process Descriptions, Process Maps, Human Memory, Jobs, Skills, Learning, Personal Memory, Machine Memory, Memorization, Ultrarapid Learning, Job Descriptions, Careers, Professions, Tasks, MicroTasks, Informal Work, Nonprofit, Educators, Teachers, Researchers, Compilers, Explorers, Designers, Mappers, Builders, Reviewers,
TypesOf, GroupsOf, ListsOf, CountsOf, Colors, Frequencies, Units, Dimensions, Models, Plans, Schedules, Proposals, Scenarios, Budgets, Projections, Simulations, Maps, Viewers, Human Readable Documents, Languages, Sensors, Data Streams, Monitoring, Archiving, Statistical Summaries, Counts, Profiles, Lossless Compression, Decade Long Sensor Projects, Millenium Long Sensor Projects, Recording,
Gravitational Fields, Mass, Energy, Momentum, Velocity, Compositions, Fields, Fluids, Field Properties, Density, Composition, 4D Recordings, Electric Fields, Magnetic Fields, Energy Density,
Physical Models, Economic Models, Climate Models, Process Models, Sector Models, Country Models, Industry Models, Financial Models, Investment Models, Equations, Formulas, Constrained Optimization, Process Simulations, Simulations, Games, Stochastic Models, Visualization, Viewers,
Human Users, Machine Users, Client Goals, Client Duties, Client Responsibilities, Social Duties,
Hardware, Devices, Sensors, Processors, Storage, Directories, Disk Drives, Memory Units, Storage Units, Databases, Datasets, Files, Indexes, Linked Memory Units, All Memory, All Processors, All Sensors, All Channels, The Universe,
Services, Monitors, Indexers, Compilers, Gatherers: Crawlers: Spiders: Robots, Resolvers, Auditors,
Top Level Domains, Indexers, Archivers, Counters, Profilers, Domains, Subdomains, Directories, Files, APIs, Content Services, Topic Services, Topic Nodes, Distributed Memory, Survivable Memory,
Policies, Values, Metrics, Goals, Objectives, Objective Functions, Status Reports, Audit Reports, Social Objectives, Corporate Objectives, Economic Objectives, Financial Objectives, Resource Allocation, Resource Utilization, Productivity, Labor Productivity, Computer Productivity, Tools, Industries, Corporations, Groups, Organizations,
Draft - An organization has social responsibilites, some of which can be clearly identified and monitored. An organization that is only self-serving does not serve society as a whole. Independent auditors? Fads, Domination, Errors, Inadequate Resources,
Every organization might well contribute to many social tasks. Individuals donate time and resources for social goals. The individuals of an organization might well contribute more outside an organization that pays them for a limited task. 365/366 days a years, 24 hours a day, every person, every task and objective.
Volunteers, Helping the Helpers, Foundations,
I am 69 years old and live in Houston Texas, a retired GS 14 Senior Mathematical Statistician. My education is mostly chemistry, physics, mathematics, astrophysics, economics and statistics.
Some positions I have held:
Texas State Health Department - Statistician, Community epidemiology, Regional Planning
Texas Education Agency - Chief Accountant, Chart of accounts design, methods and procedures, new computer system
Georgetown University Center for Population Research - Research Associate, population studies, future studies, demographic methods development
US Agency for International Development and State Department - Senior Mathematical Statistician, Integration of international data from all sources, country planning, sectoral planning, economic and social research efficiency
USAID/State, Famine Early Warning System - Director, computers and methods for integrating information from all sources
Phillips Petroleum Corporation - Hydrogen economy, long range planning, global climate change, business intelligence, clean air act negotiations
Air Force Association - Management Information Systems Director - nonprofit management, systems development
Federal Transit Administration - Contracts management, magnetic levitation, alternative fuels
The Internet Foundation - Founder, Director, Internet technologies, Using the internet to achieve organizational and social goals.
Last three years helping people find their birth parents using Ancestry DNA. Developing new methods for building family trees from DNA alone.
Last 12 years calibrating superconducting gravimeter, seismological networks, MEMS and atom interferometric gravimeter networks so they can be used for gravimeter array imaging. MHz sampling rate gravimeter arrays for broad surveys. GHz sampling rate gravimeters for time of flight imaging with gravity at sub-cubic meter resolution. THz, optical, xray, and gamma ray frequency sampling gravimeters for source characterization of energetic processes using gravity.
Y2K-Status.org, Central location for tracking status of all nations, all states, all industries, all technologies. Reviewed and discussed Joint Chief's table top exercise scenarios and strategies.
Board of Directors, Lafayette Federal Credit Union, computers and internet, Chairman Supervisory Committee, membership policies, new reports and analyses.
The Falls Church Episcopal, Finance Committee, new reports and analyses.
Sculptor.Org - Founder, designer, global sculpture industry resource. All things related to sculptors. Sculptors Wanted.
Pilgrim Edward Doty Society, advisor on using Ancestry DNA to locate all living descendants and help them work together.
Case Western Reserve University, University of West Florida, University of Houston, University of Texas at Austin, University of Maryland at College Park, Georgetown University, Virginia Polytech.
Central Intelligence Agency - Scientific Programmer, Satellite orbit determination
Wolf Research and Development, NASA contract for spherical harmonic gravitational potential models from satellite tracking
Reorganizing the Internet into Memory, Sensors, Processes, Services, Groups. Review and reorganize existing sites. Compile Topics and identify responsibilities and contributions.
Measuring and reporting on the contributions of individuals and organizations to universal goals.
Measuring and reporting on the contributions of individuals and organizations to personal, group, corporate, institutional, subject matter, professional, regional, country, global goals.
Optimize productivity of every individual and group.
Systemic Issues, Global Issues, Cross-cutting Issues, Topics, Subjects, Processes, Events, Responsibilities, Resources, Assignments, Tasks, Job Descriptions, Objective Functions,
Note Window Manager:
- Those boxes contain mostly text, but the text contains many lists of topics. So I need to be able to manage lists.
- The "value" for some items is sentences and paragraphs. These need different approach than lists of terms.
- The green box on the top right is four lists of terms.
- The orange box bottom right has lists of terms and action phrases
All the boxes contain references to collections. Every plural noun used needs a collection manager.
- Individuals, Organizations, Places, Subjects, Professions -- are all collections that I can start filling in. I can take them one by one and fill in most of them.
- When I refer to something and it has a live Collection Manager, I should be able to open the collection, view it with Collection viewing and management tools, and make changes.
Directed Graph Viewer:
- Diagram with movable nodes, and automatically linked connections. Ones I can move, edit, group
- Position of the node, name, id, what links incoming?, what links outgoing? properties and notes about the node
- Name:Value list manager or table editor
- Multicolumn, sortable, filterable
- A spreadsheet report viewer.
- Later color cells
- Later insert notes, videos, subsheets
Use Table Viewer for Clif Action Tables:
- Particularly a way to show all the places in a program where individual Data Elements are changed or used
- Take any set of programs and compile them to a Clif Action Table.
- Sort the CAT by Data Element so all the program statements that affect some data element are together.
- Try to plot that against a transaction log of every change the program does.
What kind of things come up when you research any topic:
Sentences, Paragraphs, Papers, Images, Diagrams, Tables, Equations, Charts and Graphs
Lists, indexes, Dictionaries
Desertification images: https://www.google.com/search?q="desertification"&tbm=isch
- Photos from the ground, Image processing and Image Statis=
- Sky in Photos - Sky Analysis Programs
- Dirt and Ground, Vegetation in Photos - Dirt and Ground Programs, Vegetation Programs
- Maps of Satellite Data - layers, maps, GIS, Image Processing and Multispectral Programs
- PhotoShopped and Artist Drawn Images - Different Programs
- Photos with people in them, and natural backgrounds - People in Natural Settings Programs
- Posters and Montages and Slide Images - Slide Image Programs
- Diagrams over photos
- Diagrams - all artist drawn with icons and cartoons
- Text Labels or Icons over Photos - Labeled Diagrams and Photos
- Photos of human habitations, buildings, manmade artifacts with natural backgrounds
- Animals with natural backgrounds
- Plants with natural backgrounds
- Multiple Photos, montaged into a single image
- Water with natural background
- Sky in any image
- Soil Maps, Classified Satellite images from far overhead, Classified images from airplanes and drones
- Cities with natural backgrounds
Process Steps in Cartoons
Slides with maps and Text
Slides with 3D maps and Text and Tables
Slides with Sketches as seen from overhead with labels and descriptive materials
Flow Diagrams explaining sequences of steps in processes, with some branches
Diagrams of prototypical things with usual context and some descriptions
Slides with Text only
Diagrams with Labeled Boxes for each entity, and lines showing relationships
Text in Boxes with arrows showing sequential processes, or cause and effects
Bar charts, Stacked Bar Charts, Multiple Bar Charts
Maps with false color classification, color used for classes,
Line graphs showing one variable over time
Simple circles with labels and lines joining to show relationships
Flow diagrams with feedback and feedforward
Statistical Summary Tables, with probabilities
Tables from surveys and image processing, and time sequences of observations
Systems of equations
Systems of constraints and boundary conditions
Statistical expectation values and probabilities
Large datasets from which statistics and expectation values are derived
Test cases and classification test datasets
Move a million people to the moon.
Move a million people to Mars.
Move a million people to Titan.
Feed, cloth, educate, gainfully employ everyone in the world.
Build a model of a living cell.
Build a model of the atmosphere.
Build a model of the vacuum.
Build a model of the universe.
Build a model of stellar formation.
Build a model of human activities.
Build a model of the world.
Make, build, start, execute, fix, repair, create, repair, change, move, modify, transfer, find, search, send, give, tell, take, receive, transform,
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